It was said that Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV of France's famous mistress, would only accept courtiers in her boudoir because she knew that the sight of her at her dressing table would be especially alluring! She made sure not only that her furniture looked good, but that she looked good within them. Together with her amour Louis XV, they put an end to the heavy and elaborate Baroque designs made popular by Le IV, and introduced the world to a more delicate, decidedly more feminine style called Rococo. Whereas Baroque was theatrical and overwhelming, Rococo was lighter, less formal and more intimate. It was the very essence of the beautiful and elegant woman that Madame de Pompadour was--lively, a bit frivolous, sensual and very romantic. She favored small-scaled, graceful and seductive furniture, the most famous of which are the chaise lounge, the dressing table and the secretary.
Here, some up-to-date takes on the the Madame's famous style.
A chaise that is sleeker, with curves in the right places for comfort. So understated it won't compete with what you're wearing.
Delia Chaise, $999, www.roomandboard.com
Approach from the side, sit up straight, drape one arm over the back and don't forget to cross your legs.Gentry Chair, $545, www.ballarddesigns.com
Perfect for writing loveletters, the French called it a "bonheur-du-jour", which means "daytime delight."
Anne Secretary, $349, www.ballarddesigns.com
Spray on perfume, powder your nose and apply rouge. This vanity is leggy, sleek, modern and very functional. Keep open and embrace your inner diva or fold down the mirror to use as a desk.
Narrow-Leg Vanity, $379, www.westelm.com